Friday, September 02, 2005


When E first met me he nicknamed me 'girl in a bubble'. The nickname was fitting because it seemed everywhere I turned I had some new ailment brewing and it almost seemed unwise for me to step outside. I had allergies and skin rashes and stomach pains and asthma and bloating and pains in my legs and extreme extreme extreme fatigue and extreme weight loss and weight gain and blah blah blah. Granted at the time we met I was going through some severe stress and I am smart enough to know it is all related but still...for a youngish, seemingly healthy woman it all seemed a bit confusing and a little much.

Now that we've been together for so long things have been a 'tad' better (I can hear E snorting from the other room) however things come up now and again. For someone who has all these stupid things happen to them it is almost better when a physical thing that everyone can see happens (like a rash) rather than just describe myself as suffering from 'extreme fatigue'. It's crazy but it's like unless I have a giant skin rash everyone can see no one will believe me. Ok. Me crazy. Back into my bubble now.

Perhaps you may recall the past incident when E and I and went to meet a friend of ours and his Christie Brinkley like beautiful wife for dinner. We went to New York's famous Katz's deli. Everything was going great until slowly I started scratching my face and had the sensation my lips were a little swollen. Ignoring it I continued with my story and finally our friend's beautiful wife said, "Um...I think you may have gotten bitten or something under your eye..." Shrugging it off I said something about always having allergies and I'm sure it was nothing. By the time we left the place and we all walked to the subway, I noticed people STARING at our friend's beautiful wife and I. Little did I know they were thinking to themselves, "Awww...isn't that nice! Christie Brinkley made friends with that scary egor guy from the movie GOONIES."

Needless to say I woke up the next morning and headed straight to the emergency room looking like THIS:

I still to this day don't know what happened. I had corned beef and some pickles. Did I get bit by something? What did I touch except E's leg under the table now and again or the Katz's menu. Add it to the filing cabinet of KDunk ailment mysteries unsolved.

This year I've had my fair share of ailments. An incorrect diagnosis with Celiac Disease. And increased asthma over the past three months. I used to use and inhaler once a year and now close to three times a day. When this happens it feels I am sucking through a pinhole opening of air. Can't ever get enough. Yesterday I was in a meeting at work with the CEO of a major TV network and I felt like I was going to die. Scary.

So yesterday I went to an allergist. He wrote with a fountain pen. He made jokes. He stuck a thin long tube down my nose/throat and took a video which he burned me a CD of because I so geeked out and wanted to post it on my Vimeo. He gave me a bunch of shots in my arm to see what I was allergic to.

In the end he said this, "When you say you feel like you are sucking air at times through a pinhole it is because you are. Do you see your voicebox here (pointing to the video of my voicebox opening and closing rapidly) most people's voice boxes stay open at all times. Yours is closing because of a minor infection in the throat." I found the whole thing fascinating except the part where he told me I had to come back in two weeks or so and do it all again.

Overall it was a positive experience and I was happy to hear what was going on with my breathing. But case you don't believe me you can check out my Vimeo later.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Robert said...

lemme get a little dorky, here:

i work in an asthma clinic. are you on any kind of controller medicine for your asthma? flovent or advair, along with singulair, can work wonders. and keep you from having to use your albuterol 3x a day.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger KDunk said...

doc said he didn't detect asthma after gave me breathing test actually and so using the inhaler was not helpful to me. the shortness of breath seemed to be due to an infection in my throat/voicebox. thank u for the feedback it is not dorky.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger jayKayEss said...

I have a friend whose face swells like that whenever he eats artificial strawberry-flavored anything. I think it's a pretty common histamine reaction-- you may be allergic to some spice in Katzs' pickles.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger alissa said...

On the allergy line... My sister is highly allergic to all sorts of things. For instance, seafood & balsamic vinager make her tongue swell. She carries Benadryl with her everywhere she goes, and should an 'attack' occur, she pops a pill and within minutes her tongue/swelling/hives are instantly gone. Found the same thing happened when I recently gave my 10-month-old eggs for the first time... itchy hives all over her body - benadryl - all better.

At 4:06 AM, Blogger still_figuring_out said...

wow. i never knew somebody who is allergic to so many things! and some.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger dani said...

Oh you poor thing. I am sure your stress levels are somehow compromising your immune system right now. I would recommend really trying to boost that so that you can fight off better any of those nasty substances that don't agree with you. Pickled foods and the stuff they use to do it with are notorious for allergy sufferers. I was incorrectly diagnosed with asthma for 2 years and used ventolin 4-5 times a day. Then they discovered I had nasal polyps which gave me post nasal drip which basically had my lungs full all the time. Not good. And basically the polyps came from being allergic to dairy and dust and some other things. if you don't feel right with your diagnosis then listen to your intuition and seek other advice. take care

At 11:26 AM, Blogger stringbeanjean said...

i'm sorry to read that yr unwell.

unfortunately i know exactly what yr going through. about 10 years ago (i was 25 and just about to start on a photography degree, helpfully enough) all this stuff began with me. mystery swellings of my eyes, throat, finger joints etc.

i am reluctant to write about my long and complicated adventures in weird mystery illness land in such a public forum but if you'd like to write to me i'd be more than happy to talk to you.

i don't think you have a throat infection. i didn't. it was happening 4 or 5 times a week after a few months. i thought i was allergic to everthing and i turned out to be allergic to's bizarre i know.
i have my own theories these days.

i'd really like to talk if yr interested.

(i'm a fellow fotologger by the way. my email is

(if you could maybe delete this once you've read it..that would be good. i'm english and easily embarrassed when talking about myself..haha)

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Looking at asthma drug info online today while my son coughs I came across this post. Does anyone know a good asthma drug site to help?


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At 1:28 AM, Blogger zamiebook said...

i get eyes like that ... for me it is always fabric softener that is in a purple box of some sort or anything in any way related to tropicalness, or there's something in donuts, i have pretty much had to swear off donuts because they cause a rash most of the time, for me, which is how i found you i was searching for donut-related rash.

At 3:17 AM, Blogger MFL said...

Allergies suck. It's not just what you are allergic to that is the problem, it spills over into a fear of any unknown food just incase you have another reaction

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